Saturday, January 28, 2012


 To give a kingdom for a Carmargue horse
De donner le trône et le reste contre un seul cheval carmarguais...
-- from Georges Brassen's song, Le Modeste

The Carmargue is a race of small, brave, white to light-gray horses indigenous to la Carmargue or Rhone delta territory in the south of France. The race, thought to be one of the oldest in the world, is the traditional mount of the Carmargue gardians or cow herders--cowboys if you like. (The year 2012 marks the 500th anniversary of Carmargue's confrérie des gardians.) Carmarguais horses continue to range in semi-liberty in the marshes of its origin where they've nostalgically become spirited symbols of untamed freedom.

Georges Brassens, poet, composer and performer was a native of Sète, a Mediterranean port which is about 15 km from this thin strip of beach,  La Plage des Aresquiers. Bordered on one side by the sea and the other by a lagoon, it's one of the last wild, natural beaches in the Hérault department--and it still has seashells. 
un cheval:  a horse
un trône:  a throne
la mer:  the sea
à cheval:  astride a horse; to be on both sides of the fence,  figuratively

être à cheval sur les principes:  to be demanding or rigorous
Ne changez pas de cheval au milieu de la rivière:  Don't change horses in the middle of the river.
Mon royaume pour un cheval:  My kingdom for a horse!  (from Shakespeare's Richard III)

©2012 P.B. Lecron

No comments:

Post a Comment